Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Nursing Home ~ What I know!


Image from FB

These last two years, I have found myself spending more time with people in a Nursing Home.  Most of the patients know me by sight and some of them greet me with a wave or smile.  

The one who is next to my MiLaw (MIL) is special because she will show me a thumbs up and I do the same.  It doesn't end there, we touch thumbs and then we give it a slight twist.  It never fails to make her smile.  Well, it makes me smile, too.  How did we start this?  I don't know.  One day we just did it and that's how we usually greet each other now.

Old people love to talk.  Most of them will repeat the same stories.  It's strange that they can tell the same story to the same person over and over again.  There must be something in the brain that prevents them from remembering who they have told it to.  

I find that old people do not always talk about their loves or regrets. I think that they replay certain instances of their lives and alter their role to suit their conscience.  I am just curious that there is this need to do so.

I have found that,  as they share their thoughts (real or unreal), the mere action of speaking them out to someone and repeating them often makes for these thoughts becoming the gospel truth. This means that these thoughts became words spoken and which then reach a level beyond further question. Then they become undisputed facts that we have to accept. To do otherwise is to invite an unwelcome and probably a heated debate.  It does take patience and a bit of ingenuity to steer the conversation down a different path.

I notice the main complaint among the people there are about the lack of visits from loved ones.  It's difficult to know the background of each patient and the reasons for why there are so few visitors. But I believe it's never about who they are or were.  It has to be about who we are and who we want to be.  

It's also part of the reason why I visit my MIL as often as I can.  Yes, I may often joke about going but I also take that responsibility seriously.

It's a balance between doing something cheerfully or doing it grudgingly.  The spirit in which we do anything must not be dismissed.  It makes for a huge difference in the vibrations we carry within us.

There are some in the Nursing Home who are unable to interact with their loved ones.  Yet I see that there is a steady stream of visitors.  I wonder if it is easier for them.  They know that nothing much can be done except to ensure the safety and comfort of who they visit.  I can understand why they continue to visit. Again, it isn't about who they are visiting.  It's about who is doing the visiting. 



Sometimes I wonder if my MIL may reach a stage when she won't know me or anybody else.  I think that just like this picture, I will feel the same way.  I will know her. And that's enough for me.